As You Like It

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Silvius and Phebe


Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me, do not, Phebe.

Say that you love me not, but say not so

In bitterness. The common executioner,

Whose heart th' accustomed sight of death makes hard,

Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
fall (v.) 1 drop, descend, let fall

But first begs pardon: will you sterner be
but (conj.) 5 without

Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?
bloody (adj.) 5 blood-containing

Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Corin, unobserved


I would not be thy executioner.

I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.

Thou tellest me there is murder in mine eye:

'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
pretty (adj.) 2 nice, proper, apt
sure (adv.) 2 surely, assuredly, certainly

That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,

Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
atomy (n.) 1 atom, mote, speck
coward (adj.) cowardly

Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers!

Now I do frown on thee with all my heart,

And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee.

Now counterfeit to swoon, why now fall down,
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count
swound (v.) faint, swoon

Or if thou canst not, O for shame, for shame,

Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!

Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee.

Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains

Some scar of it; lean upon a rush,

The cicatrice and capable impressure
capable (adj.) 1 sensitive, receptive, responsive
cicatrice (n.) scar, scar-like mark
impressure (n.) imprint, impression, indentation, stamp

Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,

Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,

Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes

That can do hurt.


                         O dear Phebe,

If ever – as that ever may be near –

You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

Then shall you know the wounds invisible

That love's keen arrows make.


                         But till that time

Come not thou near me; and when that time comes,

Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not,

As till that time I shall not pity thee.


(coming forward)

And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,

That you insult, exult and all at once
insult (v.) be insolent, show scorn, triumph scornfully

Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty –

As, by my faith, I see no more in you

Than without candle may go dark to bed –
dark (adv.) in the dark

Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?

Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?

I see no more in you than in the ordinary
ordinary (n.) 1 routine, norm, usual procedure

Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,
sale-work (n.) ready-made goods

I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
tangle (v.) trap, snare, enmesh, hold fast

No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it:

'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow

Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream
bugle (adj.) bead-like, beady, glittering

That can entame my spirits to your worship.
entame (v.) tame, subdue, quell

You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,

Like foggy south, puffing with wind and rain?
south (n.) south wind [believed to bring storms, and plague-carrying mists]

You are a thousand times a properer man
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you

That makes the world full of ill-favoured children.
ill-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly

'Tis not her glass but you that flatters her,
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass See Topics: Frequency count

And out of you she sees herself more proper
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

Than any of her lineaments can show her.
lineament (n.) 1 line, feature, characteristic, attribute

But, mistress, know yourself; down on your knees

And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love!

For I must tell you friendly in your ear,

Sell when you can, you are not for all markets.

Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer.
cry (v.) 4 beg, entreat, implore See Topics: Politeness
mercy (n.) compassion, forgiveness, pardon See Topics: Politeness

Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
foul (adj.) 1 plain-looking, unattractive, ugly

So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.


Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together;
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count
together (adv.) 1 without a break, whole

I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.


(to Phebe)
foulness (n.) 3 plainness, unattractiveness

He's fallen in love with your foulness,

(to Silvius) and she'll fall in love with my anger. If it

be so, as fast as she answers thee with frowning looks,

I'll sauce her with bitter words. (To Phebe) Why look

you so upon me?


For no ill will I bear you.
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count


I pray you, do not fall in love with me,

For I am falser than vows made in wine.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

Besides, I like you not. (To Silvius) If you will know my house,

'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by. –
hard (adv.) 1 close, near
tuft (n.) 1 clump, small group, thicket

Will you go, sister? – Shepherd, ply her hard. –
hard (adv.) 2 earnestly, vigorously, energetically
ply (v.) keep on at, press, urge

Come, sister. – Shepherdess, look on him better,

And be not proud, though all the world could see,

None could be so abused in sight as he.
abuse (v.) 1 deceive, mislead, fool, cheat

Come, to our flock.

Exit Rosalind, with Celia and Corin


Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
saw (n.) wise saying, platitude, maxim

‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'


Sweet Phebe –


                         Ha, what sayest thou, Silvius?


Sweet Phebe, pity me.


Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.

If you do sorrow at my grief in love,

By giving love, your sorrow and my grief

Were both extermined.
extermine (v.) destroy, end, exterminate


Thou hast my love; is not that neighbourly?


I would have you.


                         Why, that were covetousness.

Silvius, the time was that I hated thee,

And yet it is not that I bear thee love;

But since that thou canst talk of love so well,

Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
erst (adv.) 2 not long ago, just now
irksome (adj.) hateful, offensive, loathsome

I will endure, and I'll employ thee too.
employ (v.) 2 make use of, use one's services

But do not look for further recompense

Than thine own gladness that thou art employed.


So holy and so perfect is my love,

And I in such a poverty of grace,

That I shall think it a most plenteous crop

To glean the broken ears after the man
glean (v.) collect, scrape together, gather up

That the main harvest reaps. Loose now and then

A scattered smile, and that I'll live upon.
scattered (adj.) 3 occasional, odd, random


Knowest thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
erewhile (adv.) a short time ago, a while before


Not very well, but I have met him oft,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
bound (v.) 3 (plural) extent, land, area [within boundaries]
carlot (n.) peasant, rustic, churl

That the old carlot once was master of.


Think not I love him, though I ask for him.

'Tis but a peevish boy. Yet he talks well.
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

But what care I for words? Yet words do well

When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.

It is a pretty youth – not very pretty –
pretty (adj.) 3 [of men] fine, good-looking

But, sure, he's proud – and yet his pride becomes him.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

He'll make a proper man. The best thing in him

Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue

Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.

He is not very tall – yet for his years he's tall.

His leg is but so so – and yet 'tis well.

There was a pretty redness in his lip,

A little riper and more lusty red
lusty (adj.) 3 pleasing, pleasant, agreeable

Than that mixed in his cheek; 'twas just the difference

Between the constant red and mingled damask.
damask (adj./n.) light-red, pink [colour of the damask rose]

There be some women, Silvius, had they marked him

In parcels, as I did, would have gone near
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
parcel (n.) 1 part, piece, portion, bit

To fall in love with him: but, for my part,

I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet

I have more cause to hate him than to love him,

For what had he to do to chide at me?
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

He said mine eyes were black and my hair black,

And, now I am remembered, scorned at me;
remember (v.) 2 recollect, recall, call to mind

I marvel why I answered not again.
again (adv.) 1 in return, back [in response]
answer (v.) 1 answer back, make a rejoinder

But that's all one: omittance is no quittance;

I'll write to him a very taunting letter,

And thou shalt bear it – wilt thou, Silvius?


Phebe, with all my heart.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


                         I'll write it straight:

The matter's in my head and in my heart.
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

I will be bitter with him and passing short.
passing (adv.) very, exceedingly, extremely
short (adj.) 3 curt, brief, terse

Go with me, Silvius.


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